pirouettes on storm-tossed wind
iced firs sparkle
A winter wonderland set to silent music blowing here and there – rising and falling – whirling, twirling and sweeping rooftops at will. This morning’s glory—enjoying it while it lasts.
The naked snow pairs nicely with a poem I read this morning. It’s from a gathering of larks: letters to Saint Francis from a modern-day pilgrim, by Abigail Carroll.
Here’s the poem.
Dear Son of Pietro Bernardone,
Nicodemus had nothing on you:
When he heard, You must be born again,
he wondered how on earth
to climb back inside his mother’s womb,
but you knew precisely what to do: remove
your clothes in the public
square, by your nakedness loudly, irrevocably
declare whose you were, whose you chose
to be. It was a start, and though
the bishop tried to spare you shame, protect
your rich father’s name with his holy golden
robe, hide your tender
olive frame, you refused. Instead, walked
shoeless toward the winter woods wearing
nothing but a hair-shirt
and a song (in French, no less). Priest
to beggars and sparrows, hills, and the lilies
of the field, it wasn’t long
before the lepers took you for their own.
Francis, what was it like to finally belong?
© Abigail Carroll, 2017, a gathering of larks, p. 14
William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company 2017
What does it mean to go ‘all out’ in order to live a life of openness and truth? Nature shows me how, without the agony of having to decide what to wear or which dance it will be today or what to eat or not eat. Even closer to home, with whom will I stand when push comes to shove?
There’s something about the nakedness of a wild snow storm that’s terrifying. The little sparrow being hurled by my kitchen window this morning comes to mind. He was able to land in a shrub, but barely.
Unpredictable winds of war and change are here, whether we choose to acknowledge them or not. I pray for grace to let the Spirit’s wind carry me where it will, depositing me where I belong, with my voice and spirit intact.
© Elouise Renich Fraser, 4 January 2018
Photo found at shutterstock.com